Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames, by Tom Chesshyre.
From Source to Sea is a rather lovely idea. A sort of achievable adventure book, which follows the length of the Thames whilst discussing various points of interest along the way. Tom Chesshyre’s love of the river is wonderful to hear. He prepared for the journey not only with Thames literature in his backpack, but also with a step tracking device.
In the book Chesshyre brings to life the character of the river as an endless source of interest to him, visiting the old haunts of kings, beloved authors and various celebrities, whilst referencing a vast variety of literary classics.
Performing a pilgrimage of sorts to the writer’s favourite spots, places where ideas for books were conceived, and where authors lived, he also provides amazing historical information, from small acts to momentous events, alongside details of almost every meal, pint, and lime soda he consumed along the journey.
Chesshyre, however, does not seem particularly taken with any changes to the Thames and is particularly scathing of almost all the people he comes across. In spite of this, the book really does bring the Thames alive, inspiring an incredible sense of awe and respect for the river. This book could have been fantastic, if Tom had stuck to what he likes – the Thames – and away from what he doesn’t like – people.